The Tamil political leadership of Sri Lanka has welcomed the new regime in India, expressing hope that the Narendra Modi-led government will pressure President Mahinda Rajapaksa to deliver on his promises to the country’s Tamils.

Congratulating the Prime Minister-elect for the “historic win”, Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-speaking Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran said the Tamil people of Sri Lanka hoped that his government would be actively engaged with the country, helping them achieve a lasting political solution.

“I hope that your government will have a constructive approach in its policy to ensure justice for the Sri Lankan Tamils,” he said, in a statement.

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran said he hoped that the change in the government heralds a new chapter of the Sri Lankan Tamils’ quest for a solution to their struggles. “We look forward to working with the new government,” he told The Hindu.

Some in the TNA leadership seemed let down by the fact that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa would not be part of the Centre given the BJP’s massive mandate that renders potential coalition partners redundant.

“We wish to congratulate Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for a very good showing in the State. We look forward to her continued support,” Mr. Sumanthiran said.

The Tamil political leadership in Sri Lanka believes it is Ms. Jayalalithaa who has actual bargaining power.

C.V.K. Sivagnanam, chairman of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA)-led provincial council governing the island nation’s Northern Province said: I believe BJP will be a reasonably accommodative government. They have to respect Tamil Nadu for the entire State has backed Jayalalithaa this time,” he said.